According to Betsy Blumenthal, associate editor of Conde Nast’s City Guides, “Until our ten-day tour of Israel this past May, my mother and I had never been on a long trip together—not just the two of us, anyway. We started in Jerusalem, where solemn visits to the Western Wall (my mother’s choice) were punctuated by Gangnam Style-induced dancing—and Norwegian tourist flirting—at the restaurant Machneyuda (mine), and lazy, late-morning brunches at the Villa Brown Jerusalem were walked off on a search for handmade pottery in the Armenian quarter. A few days later, we took out a rental car and drove up to the shiny new Setai at the Sea of Galilee, where we ate too many buffet desserts and watched French couples slow dance late into the night. We spent a day lurching up the cliffs of Masada, bathing with swarms of Russian tourists in the depths of the Dead Sea, and prayed (both silently and aloud) that our car would make it to Tzfat, the highest, and one of the holiest, cities in the country. And, like our forebears, we haggled for halva in Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market, and were rewarded for our struggles with shoes, clothes, and trendy rooftop dinners. In other words, it was the perfect choice: Israel, land of the new and of the (very, very) old is one of those places that easily fills all the gaps.